British organic charity, the Soil Association, has called for a limit to be imposed on the use of Roundup in light of the recent US court case connecting the weedkiller to cancer.

This week, a dramatic blow was dealt to Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing Roundup when a US court ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found on Friday (August 10) that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers.

The case was brought by an American groundskeeper who claimed the long-term use of Roundup caused his cancer. This is the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Bayer shares plunged by around 14% following the news, wiping around $14 billion in value off the firm.

‘A thorough rethink of regulations’

Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association, said: “The ruling in this court case is a dramatic blow to the future use of glyphosate which affirms the 2015 decision of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, which found glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen.

It confirms that it is sensible for UK farmers to be thinking about how they will manage without glyphosate, as organic farmers already do.

“We need to urgently change our systems of weed control to stop relying on herbicides. It was disturbing in this case, to hear that Monsanto had knowledge of the potentially harmful effects.

“The court case also really highlights the problem with relying on chemical pesticides globally as so little is known about the long-term environmental and health impacts.

“Organic farmers show that it is possible to farm successfully without using chemicals like glyphosate and a lot more should be done to help all farmers improve these practical alternatives they’ve pioneered, which pose less risk to our soils, environment and health.

“We continue to call for a stop to spraying this chemical on crops at harvest time and to its use in parks and gardens, and for a thorough rethink of pesticide regulations.”